Romance: Maude Mockridge, English Lady Romance Novelist
A Movie Review By
Author of Secrets and Imagination
Lloyd takes on the character of Miss Maude Mockridge, English lady
romance novelist in the twisty Dangerous
Corner (1934 US). Forget the plot and surprise ending;
just study Maud.
Bruce as Ann, Melvyn Douglas as Charles)
partners Ann and Charles are also romantically flitting around each
other, though this has been pushed aside in the busyness of manuscripts
scene: Ann is about to host a breakfast interview on her apartment
balcony for Romance author Maude Mockridge. The English lady novelist
has already published "A Flame", "Scarlet Flowers", "Burnt Wings" and
"Paradise For Two". Over kippers and toast they discuss her new book
"Ecstasy" and a possible contract before Maude travels back to England.
arrives unexpectedly before Miss Mockridge and lighthearted romance
takes place. The maid answers the door to the famous dame of love.
about being discovered with a man in her apartment before breakfast
declares to Charles: "Stand in the middle of floor and look innocent."
"Yeah, that's our great trouble. We are innocent. All we ever do is
stand in the middle of the room."
Mockridge's bosom rises in poetic moral amusement: "I came
in a minute too early. He
lingered a moment too late in fond farewell."
She adds in
haste: "I have my own moral code. It's quite simple. Two baths a day
and mind your manners."
that morning Ann joyfully announces to her publishing
partners that she has secured a three year contact with Miss
Mockridge. Next month "Ecstasy" will be ready. Six months later "Emma
The Passionate" and in one year "Sleeping Dog".
passes and the partners gather for a dinner party where Maude's new
novel "Sleeping Dogs" brings a foam of questions about truth. The title
is based on an old proverb meaning don't disturb the truth.
"Which the chief character, the husband, insisted on disturbing with
strange and disastrous consequences."
The truth is
questioned by all. Ann: "Well there's truth; and then there's truth."
A bagful of
views on truth and complete truth is unloosed. Arguments arise and
is mentally taking notes of the situation. Perhaps she is adding to her
mind's collection of notes for future novels? She leaves with a Miss
Marple style "Goodbye" thus showing her dislike of unharmonious
Mockridge is a wonderful example of the 1930's style romance author...
refined, sophisticated, unhurried, and sought after by a
sighing following of women. Publishers wooed her. Not crimped by the
winds of today's frantic marketing, she was free to do what authors do
best. She just wrote!